Meet the Teacher: Donna Hurley
What is your name? Donna Hurley
What do you teach? I teach international students English Foundations as a first-year course; I teach a second-year course of English Grammar and Composition for those who need it. My other position is Director of Curriculum and Instruction; this is my third year in this role.
How many years have you taught at Dayspring? The 2019-2020 school year is my 26th year at Dayspring! I started as PE aide and classroom aide (my first year was only 9 hours/week). My second year transitioned to three full days as a Developmental Kindergarten aide. My next 5 years at Dayspring were spent teaching 5th grade. From there, I traveled on to Upper School as a teacher of English, Algebra 1, and 8th grade Bible. Several years ago, I transitioned to part-time teaching and part-time administrative, which equals a full-time role at Dayspring.
What do you appreciate the most about the Principle Approach? I deeply appreciate the Principle Approach because it is a biblical, historical method of teaching and learning that was an integral part of America’s founding and that still provides a framework for LIFE to any person, group, or even nation that wishes to honor God in every respect. Because the Principle Approach is based on God’s eternal truths, it should prompt me to grow in love for God, His Word, my neighbor and country, my family, learning, and more.
What do you see in your students that is most encouraging? Tenacity–so many have really difficult life situations, but they are pressing on. Also, academics at Dayspring Christian Academy can be rigorous, and I see students learning tenaciously.
Why do you love teaching at Dayspring? The opportunity to impact lives for God’s Kingdom is at the top of the list. I also love working in this environment, too, where we encourage each other to step up in Christ.
How do you teach a biblical worldview in your classroom? In Algebra I, I taught a biblical worldview by helping students to discover that math is a part of God, that it is HIS and to be used for His purposes, and that it reveals Him: His order, His infinite presence, and so much more.
In my English Foundations course for international students, we start each quarter with Bible literature: Quarter-1 was Psalm 23, where we looked at God’s love for people—His lost sheep—that He would send Jesus to find us. We talk about who Jesus is as a shepherd and look at the different parts of this psalm from that standpoint. Quarter-2 was Daniel and the Lions’ Den (Daniel 6), where we see a man of faith who is faithful to God no matter the risk.
With speech and composition, we learn how God used words to create the world then presented us with His written record—the Bible. All communication, whether written or spoken, should be used for His honor because He gave it as a gift to us. The biblical principle of order is evident in our grammar and in our writing. The words in our sentences need to be in proper order so that our message is clear. The sentences in our compositions are to be ordered carefully for the same reason!
And finally, we discuss the concept of Providence: we talk about God’s design for each life and His provision, whether it is in Bible or literature. In each class, I reiterate to each student that he has brought them HERE for HIS good plan for their lives!
What do you think most students appreciate about your class? My aim is kindness, enthusiasm, personal attention, progress, love for the Lord, and biblical ideas. I am always willing to try another avenue if something doesn’t seem to work for my students.
What is unique about you, your talents, or interests that you bring to the classroom? That’s always hard for me to identify. My husband and I were missionaries to Haiti and to Thailand, so outreach is always a part of what I bring to the classroom.
What have you seen in your students over the years that has touched your heart the most? I have been really touched by students who have told me YEARS later that the Bible memory songs (Bible monthly memory passages) we sang together have stuck with them, and some now sing these passages to their children. There’s nothing greater than to see these young people walking in Truth.
At Dayspring Christian Academy, we are committed to raising up the next generation of Christian leaders who acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life, demonstrate a biblical worldview, become citizens of excellence in Christian character and scholarship, and aid in the restoration of America’s biblical foundation. If you would like to learn more about Dayspring Christian Academy, please contact Karol Hasting at 717-285-2000 or schedule a private tour using the button below.